Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Brookelyn visits Dr. Hoffman

Today was the day Brookelyn got to meet Dr. Hoffman at Primary Children's Hospital.  Travis took the day off and we took Olivia with us as well.  We had been told to expect to be there for a good three hours by a friend of mine who has been there before.  I thought our appointment was at 9 am, Apparently, our appointment at 9:30!  Fortunately for us, we were taken back a little early.

First, Brookelyn was tested by a nurse.  She did several of the same tests Dr. Perry (the ophthalmologist she saw back in January).  Just watching, it seemed that she did pretty well with the tests the nurse conducted.  I could tell that she was a little tired (we did wake her up at 6 am but she did sleep all the way to the hospital).  She was able to read most of the letters on the eye chart.  I was surprised that she didn't read further down the chart than what she did.  Mostly she would read the first and most of the second line and then it seemed she would get stuck.

After being tested by the nurse, a nice lady came in (an assistant to Dr. Hoffman).  This lady knows how to test a girl!  She spent a good 15-20 minutes doing eye tests with Brookelyn.  She was constantly moving between the left and right eye.  She was having her go between reading numbers on a tongue depressor she was holding by her nose and the eye chart across the room on the wall - this allowed her to check her near and far sight.  At the end of this testing, Brooke got her eyes dilated.  She was not happy about that - it seemed to sting more than the last time around.  Then they sent us back out to the waiting room to wait for her eyes to dilate.

Finally, Dr. Hoffman came in.  He's an older gentleman and I felt that he was nice.  We had been warned that his bedside manner wasn't the greatest, but I didn't have a problem with him.  He ran yet a few more tests with Brookelyn.

Dr. Hoffman says that when she's looking down, her eyes stay aligned better than when she's looking up.  Her intermittent exotropia seems to be going in a V pattern (both eyes actually turn out and not just the right eye).  The good news is that both of her eyes are working together.  This means that her left eye hasn't been overcompensating for the right eye and there has been no vision decrease.  This is good.

He said that he expects that her eyes turn out more later in the day when she's tired or when she's focusing really hard on something.  She's already aware that she can make her eyes turn out if she just focuses really hard on something and enjoys doing it to freak out her siblings!  Stinker!

He said that Brookelyn is farsighted and this is actually in her favor.  If she was near sighted the exotropia would likely be worse.  Because she's farsighted she has to work harder to keep her eyes aligned and it's given her better control of her eye muscles.  Putting her in glasses right now would make it so that she was getting headaches and would actually make the exotropia worse - so, no glasses for now, but she could eventually end up with them.

They seemed impressed that she has as good of control over the exotropia as she does.  I'm thinking that because she's had it for so long she's probably just learned how to cope with it.  Travis asked if it's something she will eventually outgrow.  Dr. Hoffman said the likelihood of that is slim to none.  Either she will maintain what she's got right now or it will get worse.  He doesn't want us to wait more than 6 months to have it checked again, so we made another appointment for September.

Dr. Hoffman said that he could do surgery right now if that's what we wanted, but if she were his kid he would wait and see what happens.  It's possible she won't ever need surgery, that she will be able to maintain what she's got.  He did say that if he does do surgery he would want at least one more set of measurements on her so he knows whether to adjust 2 or 4 of the eye muscles (2 in each eye or one in each eye).  He also said that it's possible she may get made fun of for it as she gets older.  If it doesn't get worse, but she's getting made fun of for it that's a valid reason for him to go ahead and agree to do surgery.  Right now, we are ok with waiting another 6 months to see if it gets worse or if she's able to maintain the level she's at.  My gut feeling is that it may get slightly worse.  I don't know if it's because it was pointed out to me or if it's just that it's gotten worse, but I totally notice it (all the time) now!

We were able to leave PCMC by 11 so we took the girls and headed over to Hogle Zoo.  Neither of the girls had been there before and the weather wasn't all that bad.  There were several school buses there for a field trip so there was a good amount of people there.  I haven't been to the zoo since Caleb was about 18 months old so there was a lot of things that had changed!

 The girls had no idea where we were or what we were doing.  I had to point out the flag that had the word zoo written on it and tell them to sound it out!  Then they finally figured out where they were!  They were too funny when it finally dawned on them that we weren't just going home and that we hadn't driven to some weird restaurant (they had said they wanted lunch when we left the hospital!)

This gorilla totally looked dead.  He was snoozing away and had his hand covering his face.  Had it not been for his stomach moving up and down I would have thought he was a statue!

They had seen the giraffes when we first got there but didn't get to get super close.  They kept asking the whole time we were there if they could go see the giraffe's up closer.  They were pretty excited about getting to see them a second time.  There was even a zoo volunteer there when we arrived and she told us their names and all kinds of fun stuff!

And in completely unrelated news - guess who lost her first tooth yesterday?!  She pulled it all by herself and didn't cry or anything!  The one right next to it is lose too and I'm pretty sure at the rate she's been wiggling it that it will be out before the week is over!  Brooke is a bit bummed out none of her teeth are lose yet!